32 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN348 (extract), NEW YORK, 20 April 1948, 10.11 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Palestine.

5. We made a statement[1] of which the following are the main points.

Assembly was not an abstract recommendation but provided for definite responsibilities and functions on the part of United Nations Organisation. In this way the whole sanction and authority of the United Nations was committed in support of a solution which was arrived at after full consideration and in accordance with justice. In these circumstances Australia could not see why any thought should be given to interfering with partition decision especially as the authority and credit of the United Nations was involved. From this aspect there was too much at stake to permit of light or variable judgment. Then quoted Trygve Lie and pointed out that the events which had taken place in Palestine since last year although deplorable were not unforeseen and the likelihood of them was taken into account in making the decision for partition. All the circumstances reported by the Palestine Commission to the Assembly should be considered from[2] underlining the Assembly resolution and not from that of hasty or ill-considered thoughts of its deferment or reversal. Pending full consideration of the American proposal doubt was expressed whether partition by being postponed in this way would be any easier to secure. We would, however, consider proposals on their merits but on basis of principle and not expediency or power politics.

[1] In the First Committee (Political and Security) on 20 April 1948.

[2] Two signs here indicate 'words mutilated in transmission'.

[AA : A1838, 852/19/2, I]